By AK Dale
TAYLOR, Texas – It’s been a long time since Texas native and soon-to-be new Floridian Ernie Laurence Jr. has penned new material.
But, that’s what having and knowing one’s priorities can do.
“My biggest issue these days is time, specifically blocks of time,” Laurence, a high school physics teacher, said. “All my books were completed before my kids were born. Now, I simply don’t write new material. I edit, format, market, network, interview, and so on. Since I’ve got the equivalent of 49 novels written, it’s not an issue that I can’t write right now.”
Laurence and his wife Heather, have two-year-old twins – Kade Auren and Gwynevere Anne – and the former is in the process of opening his own small press publishing company, Hero’s Guild Publications.
A strong man of the Christian faith, Laurence also has a sister company – Swordmaster Publications – dealing with religions materials.
“Writing has always been cathartic for me,” Laurence said. “I had never considered publishing before my wife suggested it after she found how many novels I had written. Sitting at the keyboard typing was in itself the point. What came out, well, the characters just tell me what they are going to do next.”
Laurence grew up in what he called a “stable family environment” with three younger brothers. His writing, he believes, may have been born out of the shape the family took.
“I suppose I just felt a bit alienated as a kid and needed to find a constructive release for that,” Laurence said. “As the oldest, my parents spent a lot of time with me, teaching me how to read. Don’t get me wrong, my brothers are all super intelligent, but with more kids comes division of time. I was the oldest so I got undivided attention for a while. My parents spent a lot of it teaching me to read. That led to always being ahead of the rest of the kids my age. In pre-school, while the others were learning their ABC’s, I was reading to them.”
Laurence admits not relating well to his classmates in junior high while getting on just fine with his teachers.
“I was also the superintendent’s kid in a small school,” Laurence said. “Everyone assumed I got a lot of privileges I didn’t, and that helped alienate me. Frankly, I just didn’t get people my own age, especially girls.”
Growing up in the 80s afforded Laurence plenty of topics to wax poetic on.
“Growing up in the Reagan era and just after that, I lived the American dream,” Laurence said. “Like every teen, I had my melodramatic issues that now seem so silly, and like every teen I needed an outlet. Instead of drugs, vandalism, or sex, I chose to write. I’m pretty happy with that choice.”
He is happy with a choice that allows him the perfect outlet for his inner voice.
“It’s still about the catharsis,” Laurence says of writing. “I write to write. If people like what I write and are willing to buy it, cool. If I can make a business out of helping others sell their books here in a couple of years, even cooler. The most unattractive aspect I suppose is that I am a political and religious conservative in a field dominated by those with differing views. It makes networking and promotion in those circles a challenge.”
He has had strong support around him to help conquer these challenges.
“The first love, which I totally handled incorrectly, knowing absolutely nothing about the fairer gender, provided the greatest need and most material for my catharsis,” Laurence said. “My last and greatest love, who I married, gave me the kick in the pants I needed to make something practical and useful out of all this work. She’s supported me through all this learning process of publishing.”
As for the publishing of his own works, Laurence has reached plenty of goals with many more left to pursue.
“My first success was writing a full-length novel and second was publishing this past March,” Laurence said. “My next goal is to get the series published and start working with other authors. I’ve got a marketing plan where I only take a small percentage – 1 to 5 percent depending on my costs – to publish under the Hero’s Guild name. I’m not looking for big payoffs. I’m looking to help other authors who don’t want to do the marketing side, who will provide a lot of little residual income for my company.”
Also, he may have other future works in store to hopefully answer some questions that swim without society.
“Certainly I maintain a pretty active Christian life and that includes talking about God’s Word to anyone who asks,” Laurence admits. “I’m also a political conservative and would love to return this nation to its Constitutional roots without all the ignorant things like slavery that were going on then. I certainly believe America could be great again if the government would just get out of the way and let individualism and the free market do their things.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION on ERNIE LAURENCE JR. and his WORKS:
WERZOMBIES Press thanks you for taking the time to read about our special guest here today. The Press is an Alan Dale creation and is inspired by his DEAD NATIONS’ ARMY (DNA) book trilogy which launches in July with his first novel, “Code Flesh.” The Press hopes you consider subscribing to the site and look forward to more interviews, news features, columns, and many more in the future. Once again, thank you for joining us here at the Press!